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Heads up roadside fans and diner lovers in the MA / RI + area  – diner scholar and all around swell guy Larry Cultrera of Diner Hotline is giving a not-to-miss slide presentation on the Evolution of Diners, Thursday 7/29 at the Ames Free Library in North Easton, MA.

In this presentation Larry will show  “how this American Institution has evolved from the horse drawn Lunch Wagons of the late 19th century to the large ultra-modern Diner-Restaurants of the 21st century.” He also will include a section on some of the local New England diners that people can visit.

And if that wasn’t enough look at the beautiful location for this diner talk, The Ames Free Library.

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Designed by the famed architect, Henry Hobson Richardson in 1877, the building was opened in 1883 and is a wonderful example of Richardson’s work.

Larry has been an early and vocal supporter of RetroRoadmap.com since I started it last year and he himself is a wealth of information about diners. Boasting an extensive and somewhat envy producing diner-a-bilia collection, his knowledge is something to be shared, and I always learn something new chatting with Larry. Show up and give your support to Larry and learn something new yourself!

Diner Slideshow at The Ames Free Library
53 Main Street
North Easton, MA 02356
(508) 238-2000

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Thank you Fuzzie Lizze of The Vintage Traveler for bestowing upon Retro Roadmap the Kreative Blogger Award! Having only joined the blog-o-sphere a few short months ago, I’m touched that you included me in your list of top 7 blogs.

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Not sure what the history is on this award, but nice to be able to think someone sent it to me, and nice to want to bestow it upon some other blogs of note. From what I can tell I’m supposed to pick out 7 of my favorite blogs and then list 7 things I love. I can tell already how hard it is to pick out 7 blogs to pay it forward to, but I’ll give it a shot!

In no particular order, the blogs I am passing on the Kreativ Blogger Award to:

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DeluxeVille– Mary Deluxe has a fabulous blog DeluxeVille where she documents her fabulous vintage lifestyle, from her cool little abode, to her adorable vintage outfits, to the great mid mod houses for sale in her area. She’s got a wonderful way with writing that feels like you know her immediately and would love to hang with her. She lives here in PA, and I consider her a cool neighbor even though we’ve never met!

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Diner Hotline– Fellow Massachusettsian and road scholar Larry Cultrera has been involved with the Society for Commercial Archeology and the documentation of the diners in the Mass area for years, and I consider him one of the elder statesmen of the retro roadscene (not that he’s elderly!) One of the first champions of Retro Roadmap and a knowledgeable guy to know, his Diner Hotline is the place to get info on diners and beyond. Thanks for the encouraging words Larry!

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RoadsideArchitecture- the blog portion of the wonderfully prolific road photog Debra Jane Seltzer, she’s also involved with the SCA. She faithfully blogs her way through her roadtrips across thousands of miles of US roads, in her trusty van Sparkle with her 4 dogs, snapping photos of signs and roadside points of interest for her website. I love feeling like the co-pilot on one of her adventures, through the long miles of nothing, to the great piece of pie recommended by a pal. Her dogs are a bunch of cuties and you should Check out her RoadsideArchitecture website too!

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Vintage Traveler – This isn’t a “you pat my back…” type of thing- I honestly enjoy and look forward to every entry in Fuzzie Lizzie’s Vintage Traveler blog. She’s great at doing the research to get the backstory, and shares her knowledge of Retro Roadmap worthy places and vintage clothing, with all of us, so we can learn too. She loves her husband and her dog, and I’m one of those gals too. Hooray for the Elizabeths :-)

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Lincoln Highway News– Written and maintained by another famous name in the Road Scholar field, Brian Butko- he keeps us all in the loop on what is going on on this historic stretch of land. If you’re going to be traveling along this road, it behooves you to have a look at the LHN, or one of Brian’s great books- Diners of Pennsylvania, Roadside Giants and more.

oklahoma-modern-kreativ-blogger-award-retroroadmapOklahoma Modern– Rex and Jackie are doing their best to document the ever changing Mid Century architecture and design of their home in Oklahoma. I love that they decided to create their blog just for the love of it, and realized if no one else would do it, then it was up to them! They were the first folks to send a great video from their travels to share with Retro Roadmap, and I was, and am, just thrilled. Keep up the good work- you guys are more than “OK”!

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Rick Sebak’s blog– I got the hookup for this link from Diner Hotline and could not have been more thrilled to be able to read about the goings on behind the scenes at some of my favorite road trip type TV specials. Rick is a producer at WQED, the Pittsburgh Public TV station, and the voice and more behind such faves as “Great Old Amusement Parks”, “Pennsylvania Diners”, ” A Ride Along The Lincoln Highway” and so many more. My hat goes off to Rick and his WQED compatriots for doing such a great job of documenting not only the  national road scene, but even the great and varied neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. Can’t wait to hunker down and catch up on some of the specials I missed, now that it’s turning dark and cool outside!

7 things I love:
MY:
husband
dog
hacienda
town
family
friends
roadtripping
retro roadmapping!

So there you have it folks! Realize there are many websites out there that I totally think are worthy of an award, but I was trying to keep this one bloggy. If you got an award, pay it forward if you like. If you’re reading the blog- check out the links- there’s a lotta good stuff out there!

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Heading to Massachusetts and excited to visit  as many of my fave Retro Roadmappy places as I could, the first thing I realized was, “Dang! That’s a lot of eating!”

Luckily I was able to call on Larry Cultrera of Diner Hotline to chronicle some of the many fine diners in my home state. He’s more qualified to make a Top 10 Diners of Mass list than I am at this point,  since I’ve been away from the Bay State for longer than I think I have!

Thank you Larry, for your info and images, your hospitality in showing me your great dinerabilia collection (this man is a wealth of diner knowledge, I tell you!) and also from saving me from having to eat 10 additional meals when I was back home!

You will hear about many of the things I did eat in upcoming posts, but for now I bring you…

The Diner Hotline Top 10 Diners of Massachusetts (Part 1)

(The above title is linked to Larry’s complete and insightful commentary about each fab diner on the list-  Below I have edited for space and added my own 2 cents -when I actually had 2 cents to add!)

Capitol Diner
431 Union Street
Lynn, MA 01901
(781) 595-9314

Capitol-Diner-Larry-Cultrera-Diner-HotlineDiner Hotline:  The Capitol Diner in Lynn will always be at the top of any diner list in my book!The Capitol is everything a diner should be. If you are a regular customer, it is basically like sitting in a friend’s kitchen and having a great meal. If you are a first time visitor, you will immediately feel welcome and part of the family.

Betty adds: The Capitol is also up there on my list, for it’s friendly folks, good food and bucolic setting in the middle of downtown Lynn- a wonderful patch of color in such an urban setting. Love the corned beef hash and eggs!


Rosebud Diner
81 Summer St
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 666-6015

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Diner Hotline: The Nichols family has owned the Rosebud Diner since the late 1950’s. With the diner’s reopening in the mid-1990’s  it has been reborn as slightly more upscale than the local neighborhood diner offering breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a full liquor license.

Betty notes: I would lunch here often when I worked just over the line in Porter Square Cambridge, the steak tips and salad being a fave. As Larry notes, a bit more upscale than your average diner, but wonderful to see this striking looking diner in fine form.


Shawmut Diner
943 Shawmut Ave
New Bedford, MA 02746
(508) 993-3073

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Diner Hotline: Owned and operated by Phil & Celeste Paleologos since the early 1980’s, the Shawmut Diner stands out not only for good food and friendly, fast service, but you cannot ever leave there without a smile on your face, especially if Phil is on the premises. If you are ever in the Southeastern Massachusetts area stop in to the Shawmut, you’ll never be disappointed!

Betty chimes in: It’s TRUE! My sis and I ate lunch here with the Retro Roadkids and not only were we welcomed warmly by Phil, but he absolutely charmed the kids with his friendly talk and smiles. I loved how clean and well kept  the place was, and we all enjoyed our food. Some of my photos from our visit:Shawmut Diner Exterior

Shawmut Diner Interior

Shawmut DIner Table Tableau


Salem Diner
70 Loring Avenue
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 741-7918

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Diner Hotline: The Salem Diner is one of only 2 “Sterling Streamliner” diners still operating. The other is the Modern Diner of Pawtucket, RI. The diner was sort of a little down at the heels a couple of years ago until the current owners George and Zoe Elefteriadis bought the diner in late 2007, they revamped the diner by cleaning it up, re-doing the booths, tile floor and counter apron. It made a big difference. It also didn’t hurt that they provide some great meals & friendly service which my wife Denise really appreciates. It has certainly risen to be one of our regular stops.

Tim’s Diner
14 Water Street
Leominster, MA 01453
(978) 537-6868

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Diner Hotline: What can I say about Tim’s Diner? Let’s see:

(1) it is possibly the smallest diner ever built by Silk City Diners (Paterson Vehicle Company)
(2) you can get a really great breakfast there (I never had lunch there, but I’m sure it is just as good)!
(3)  Tim and his staff are always friendly (I’m seeing a pattern here on this list).

I’m sure there are other reasons I love Tim’s Diner but most of all because it is there! Originally operated as Roy’s Diner, Tim’s dad (the original Tim) took over the operation sometime in the 1950’s (I believe) and the rest they say, is history! I know I am always looking forward to the next trip out to Leominster to eat at Tim’s!

Betty notes: I tried my best to get to Tim’s during my visit, but a finicky GPS and a rainy day were my downfall. Next time for sure!


Blanchard’s 101 Diner
322 Cambridge Street
Worcester, MA 01603

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Diner Hotline: Blanchard’s 101 Diner is the newest old diner in Worcester as it remained in unfinished condition and in storage for over 40 years. Since Chris and Matt Blanchard finished the construction of the diner and opened it, it has now become my go-to place for breakfast in Worcester! As much as I like the Boulevard Diner or the Parkway Diner or even the Miss Worcester Diner, I always end up at Blanchard’s! Great people, great service, great food! Enough said!

Betty admits: Another diner visit thwarted by the rain and GPS, Larry’s recommendation has pushed this diner to the top of my go-to list!


Agawam Diner
166 Newburyport Turnpike (U.S. Rte. 1)
Rowley, MA 01969
(978) 948-7780

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Diner Hotline: The Agawam Diner, just say those words to anyone who is familiar with the place and you will almost always hear…. Oh, I love their creme pies! My personal favorite is the Coconut Creme Pie but I am sure any of the other pies they bake daily are just as scrumptious! This diner has been run by the Galanis family from day one.This place does a tremendous business, especially on the weekends when you can usually see a line waiting to get inside this stainless steel beauty. The prices for their meals recently were increased slightly but are still quite reasonable compared to some other places.

Betty sez: I drove past this place on my back from the Clam Box in Ipswich, and I wondered if my belly could hold  a slice of pie along with the delish clams I had just consumed. Probably wise for my long drive home that I did not choose to overstuff myself, I was delighted to see the Agawam’s parking lot packed with cars.


Fish Tale Diner
420 Bridge Rd
Salisbury, MA 01952
(978) 465-1674

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Diner Hotline: The Fish Tale Diner has been located in Salisbury since the early 1970’s. After it got to it’s current location, the old bright red porcelain enameled steel panels were replaced with weathered shingles that sort of makes the diner fit in next to the marina it is adjacent to, hard by the banks of the Merrimac River overlooking Newburyport. The current owners have installed a deck out front for expanded seating in the good weather. It is quite possibly one of the nicest locations of any diner I know.

Betty muses: Who could resist visiting a diner on a sunny day and getting to sit outside on the water. Sounds like a dream date to me!


Portside Diner
2 River St
Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 777-1437

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Diner Hotline: I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Portside Diner, mainly because it is virtually the identical twin to the Star Lite Diner I used to go to in Medford, the town I grew up in. Anyway, the Portside offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, 6 days a week with breakfast only on Sundays. Their menu features basic diner food with daily specials at reasonable prices.

Four Sister’s Owl Diner
244 Appleton Street
Lowell, MA 01852
(978) 453-8321

Owl-Diner-Larry Cultrera-Diner-Hotline

Diner Hotline: The Owl Diner  is another diner that packs them in on the weekend!  In fact they have added a large entryway that when finished will double as a waiting area with seats. They give you a lot of food for your buck and it’s always good! Operated by the Shanahan family since the early 1980’s.

Betty concludes: I am one of 3 sisters, but this place needs 4 of them to keep up with the hoppin business. You go, girls!


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